ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new proposal in Albuquerque Public Schools could stop some students from enrolling in school. The new policy would have students who have been expelled within a year be denied from enrolling in other APS schools out of safety concerns for other students.
The proposed changes would limit students who’ve been expelled from any public or private school in New Mexico, or any other state for that matter, to enroll within the district – preventing those previously expelled students from coming back next year. “We are trying to add some safe cards with some students with some serious behaviors in other districts,” said one Albuquerque Public School board member.
“We would take the information to our chief of schools to have a conversation. And so what we have done is we have added a checkbox into synergy so that parents have to answer the questions: Are you long-term suspended or expelled from your current school or the previous school you attended?”
While still up in the air, some board members have raised concerns over the long-term impacts the new policy could have on those expelled students. “It seems to me that instead of doing this sort of marginal effort to serve kids’ needs, we should really be looking at how we can provide services and a real education for kids that are facing expulsion,” said APS School Board Member, Barbara Petersen.
Other members of the board say the bigger issue not being addressed is what is going on beyond the classroom. “When I look at these kids who are getting in trouble, they are dealing with trauma, and I think mental behavioral health needs, so I worry we aren’t appropriately addressing that facet of the disciplinary process,” said APS school board member Josefina Dominguez.
In Monday’s meeting, board members mentioned that the number of hearings for suspensions and expulsions of APS students has decreased over the years. The proposed policy would still need to go through the superintendent for approval. The district is working on a report to see what groups are being suspended or expelled before presenting them to the whole school board.